With the new school year, kids are heading back with lunch bags and books in tow. We want them to continue eating as healthy as they do at home. When packing lunches to last till midday it can be a bit of a challenge.
Here are 10 easy to make healthy and fun lunches which will keep them fueled for learning all day.
Breakfast For Lunch
We often get rushed in the morning and opt for the quick cereal. So why not treat them at lunch. On the weekend when you have time, make some delicious whole wheat pancakes. For lunch time make them into sandwiches with a little yogurt peanut butter spread. Just mix 1 Tbsp peanut butter, 1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, and 1 tsp honey. Pair this with fruit and some cheese or a hard boiled egg for additional protein.
Skip the over prized, processed prepackaged meal. Snag some ham steak, turkey breast, and cheese from your neighborhood deli. Cut it into small cubes and serve with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Use muffin papers to separate them in a Tupperware container. Add in some whole wheat crackers, or a small serving of yogurt ranch dip (mix any ranch seasoning packet with plain Greek yogurt).
Turkey “Pigs” in a Blanket
What kid doesn’t love this fun snack?! Keep it healthy by making your own with croissant rolls and turkey hot dogs. Serves with cheese cubes, fresh fruit and you will definitely be asked to repeat this one. About 3 pigs is a good serving.
Make “taco Tuesday” a lunch tradition. Snag a rotisserie chicken and shred it up. Snag some corn tortillas and stuff with about a Tbsp each of chicken, cheese, and salsa. Roll up and cook in a medium high skillet long enough to melt the cheese and seek the wrap (much like a quesadilla). These can be made a few days in advance and also make a great snack. Serve with applesauce or fresh fruit.
This is a simple way to jazz up an old favorite. Take a whole wheat wrap and spread with peanut butter and your child’s favorite jelly. Place a peeled banana on the wrap and then roll it up like a burrito. Slice into rounds and enjoy! Serve with cheese cubes, fruit, or cereal.
Pizza Roll Ups
Find a good whole wheat flatbread and spread with pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and turkey pepperoni. Slice into rounds or leave whole. Serve with sliced hard boiled egg, carrot sticks, and ranch dip (see above).
Remix your everyday sandwich. Simply using skewers you can make an everyday turkey sandwich fun again. Cube up bread and skewer it with rolled up turkey and cheese. Serve with a mayo mustard blend, orange slices, and some baked chips.
Let your kids play with lunch. Rotisserie chicken, broccoli slaws, shredded cheese, and some bib lettuce. Paired with some low fat dressing or ranch dip, it’s a whole meal in one, that they can build themselves.
French Toast Dips
Make French toast for their lunch. Use whole wheat bread and milk to soak with the egg into the bread. Serve with sugar free syrup or molasses. Molasses have added minerals that are a great way to sneak in some nutrition. Serve with sliced banana and fresh fruit.
Using wonton wrappers and muffin pans you can make a delicious lasagna for your kids to enjoy with a lot less calories. Simply layer wonton squares with pasta sauce and ricotta cheese in muffin pans. Bake till melted and crisp. Feel free to add some ground turkey for added protein. 2 of these is an excellent serving.
It’s easy to turn any standard lunch into a healthy (and FUN) one. Be sure to watch serving sizes and make good substitutions. Some easy ones are whole grain bread for regular and Greek yogurt for sour cream and mayo. Use fun containers or shapes to mix things up too. And be sure to write a little note from time to time telling them to have a great day or that you’re proud of them. That little message can go a long way.
Anyone else hungry?